SINGAPORE (AP) - Oil prices rose above $87 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after a report on U.S. crude inventories revealed mixed signs about consumer demand.
Benchmark oil for September delivery was up 50 cents to $87.15 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude fell $1.23 to settle at $86.65 on Tuesday.
In London, Brent crude for October delivery was up 65 cents to $109.78 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
The American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that crude inventories rose 1.7 million barrels last week while analysts surveyed by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., had predicted a decrease of 500,000 barrels.
However, inventories of gasoline fell 5.4 million barrels last week while distillates dropped 1.3 million barrels, the API said.
The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration reports its weekly supply data later Wednesday.
Oil has rebounded from below $76 last week as investors began to expect the U.S. will muddle through the second half of the year with weak economic growth, but not slip into a recession. Crude traders are closely watching economic indicators from around the world to gauge how much economic growth and oil demand may slow.
"The oil market is preoccupied with connecting the dots between downsized economic growth expectations and a reduction in oil demand forecasts across this year and next," energy analyst Ritterbusch and Associates said in a report.
In other Nymex trading in September contracts, heating oil rose 2.3 cents to $2.96 a gallon while gasoline advanced 2.3 cents at $2.72 a gallon. Natural gas futures slid 2.1 cents at $3.91 per 1,000 cubic feet.